Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5   Go Down

Author Topic: Indicator tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.  (Read 29750 times)

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2003, 01:38:29 pm »

It might be worth while reworking their summaries by heaving out the youth access stuff, and seeing what the resulting score would be then.
Logged

Kelton

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 604
  • el resplandor de las llamas de la libertad
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2003, 01:44:50 pm »

In support of the preceeding rankings on smoking freedoms that I just posted, I will add that I began a studious investigation into this topic independently of this ALA report -- before it occurred to me to search the ALA website-- and I can attest to this ranking being very similar to how I would have ranked the states using somewhat different criteria.  I came up with WY-#1, ID-#2, with those middle states being  muddled in the middle so much that I was having to resort to subjective analysis in ranking between them until I got to Alaska, then Vermont then lastly, Delaware.  

As usual in so many laws we have looked at, DE would have been one of the more free states a few years ago but has recently been outlawing freedom by leaps and bounds in recent legislative sessions  It will be interesting to observe the degree of public outrage or apathy in this decline to decide how much statism Delawareans can tolerate so quickly.

 If I understand the ALA's statement of methodology correctly, they ranked the states mostly based on the degree of nanny-statism in each state.  I heartily endorse using these rankings of the states, although, like I said, some of the middle states are actually quite similar.    

It may be of no surprise to those who understand the true value of prohibition laws, that there was very little real correlation between prevalence of smokers and cigarette taxes.  Neither did ratio of smokers to non-smokers have any discernible impact on the severity of smoking laws as reported by the ALA.  For instance, Idaho which ranked second only to Wyoming among our candidate states, had the smallest percentage of mothers who smoked during pregnancy, while Wyoming had the highest percentage; but looking further at all of the data shows that the percentage of smokers in each state has had no significant change over the years from year to year despite the implementation of draconian laws to curb smoking.  Much of the incidence of smoking among adults seems to have more to do with other factors than implementation of laws.  For instance, Utah has the lowest smoking rates but is more middle-of-the road in smoking law severity, although they were second to implement any sort of "indoor clean air act"  while Alaska is easily a higher- smoking state with a more strict set of laws.

Zxcv, I agree that there needs to be controls on smoking for those who have not attained the age of majority without parental consent.  This is one trend where there is a slight bit more correlation between laws and behavior.    --For instance, North Dakota has the highest number of teenage smokers and one of the least amount of controls for under-age access.  I read where over 40% of North Dakota high-schoolers smoked, which is about double the median percentage nationwide.
Logged
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

Kelton

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 604
  • el resplandor de las llamas de la libertad
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2003, 05:45:23 pm »




American Lung Association Report card:
 
From most free to least free:

   WY(Ranks #50 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  D  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   ID (Ranks #28 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  B  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   ND (Ranks #27 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   MT (Ranks #25 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  F
   SD (Ranks #17 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   NH (Ranks #13 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  C    
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  F  
Cigarette Taxes  D
   AK (Ranks #8 in nation)
Smokefree Air  F  
Youth Access  B  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  C  
Cigarette Taxes  B  
   VT (Ranks #4 in nation)
Smokefree Air  B  
Youth Access  A  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  B  
Cigarette Taxes  B
   DE (Ranks #2 in nation) --based on
Smokefree Air  A  
Youth Access  F  
Tobacco Prevention and Control Spending  D  
Cigarette Taxes  F

I think that if we are going to <<"rework the summaries">> as Zxcv suggests, we ought to use the scoring methodology that ALA used and try to find out what the raw number obtained was that went into the grade (or better yet, try to find-out the actual numbers that ALA used).   On that same page they have a link to the summaries which are 'yes or no' answers to the scoring questions, so you wouldn't have to read the whole law.

When I attempted this independently, I tried to use the $ amount of fines as a factor, for instance, Idaho fines the smoker $5-$10, but Delaware fines the offending smoker $100-$250.  The problem is, I came up short trying to find all of this information, since not all states have their laws on-line.

If someone would like to try to find this raw number that went into the grade, that would be great.  If someone would like to actually do the scoring, wow!  If not, I will pick it up, since this project has been my baby for so long.  I probably won't get a chance to do so until Saturday night or even Monday, however.  If anybody has an extra hour on their hands this weekend. . . .

From the web page on methodology of how this report was scored:  (smokefree air was based on Delaware and California laws being 100% perfect)
 The grades break down to the following scores:
       A = 33 to 36
       B = 29 to 32
       C = 26 to 28
       D = 22 to 25
       F = 21 and below
Logged
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2003, 06:36:11 pm »

Why don't we just simplify this problem.

There are 4 categories,

1) Smokefree air
2) Youth access
3) Tobacco prevention and control spending
4) Cigarette taxes

We and probably a lot of FSPers agree with ALA on #2. The prevention stuff, #3, is probably just the typical government rathole for tax dollars, more than any good litmus test or indication of nannyism. The taxes, #4, are probably just another way to loot the public pocketbook, again having little to do with nannyism (I think the money usually goes into the general fund - it does in my state, anyway).

That leaves #1, Smoke free air. This is surely the most egregious example of nannyism, based on junk science. The issue is not clouded by revenue generation or spending on bureaucrats; it is just plain old force. So I'm proposing we just use this measure.

I couldn't find the raw scores anywhere (except that DE and CA got perfect scores of 36!) so I have emailed them for these scores. If they don't give them to me, then I will just use the cruder letter scores in my big spreadsheet.
Logged

DadELK68

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 233
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2003, 08:04:55 pm »

I think the motorcycle helmet issue is a good indicator because there is likely to be strenuous opposition to it. If it passes nonetheless, that's saying something. However there is probably not much motorcycle riding in these northern states!  :P

Ahem - NH is really looking good on this topic, eh?

BTW, NH hosts the annual huge motorcycle rally in Laconia - if you haven't been here, you can't imagine the numbers of motorcycles on the roads all summer. It's pretty amusing to see large numbers of Harleys pulled off the side of the freeway at the MA border, removing helmets (coming into NH) or putting them on (going into MA).
Logged

DadELK68

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 233
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2003, 08:22:41 pm »

Palindrome mentioned something in another forum which is interesting to consider: How many of these states include many towns with a town-meeting format in which residents actually participate?

New England has a strong tradition in this area. It has been weakening somewhat over time, but may be stronger here than any other region.
Logged

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2003, 12:31:47 am »

The taxes, #4, are probably just another way to loot the public pocketbook, again having little to do with nannyism (I think the money usually goes into the general fund - it does in my state, anyway).

It might still be a useful measure in terms of redistributed funds garnered from "sin taxes" though, since this amounts to a form of behavior control or "punishment."  

And, interestingly enough, some states are now beginning to use portions of sin taxes to fund children's programs.  There was a recent debate on raising the cigarette tax here in South Carolina for just that purpose.

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2003, 01:23:23 am »

Quote
And, interestingly enough, some states are now beginning to use portions of sin taxes to fund children's programs.  There was a recent debate on raising the cigarette tax here in South Carolina for just that purpose.

"Money is fungible", as they say. Unless I'm mistaken, there really is no so thing as dedicated funding of programs. It's just a PR ploy. Just like the notion that corporations pay taxes, or half of your Socialist Security "contribution".

I'm trying to simplify things, Robert. If you want to generate a more comprehensive anti-smoking index, you're welcome to it.  ;)
Logged

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2003, 03:08:48 am »

"Money is fungible", as they say. Unless I'm mistaken, there really is no so thing as dedicated funding of programs. It's just a PR ploy. Just like the notion that corporations pay taxes, or half of your Socialist Security "contribution".

Very true.  My point was just that the "sin tax" itself is a form of punishment for a certain behavior.  Ultimately, it's all just transferred into one big pot and they write checks on the balance as they will.

Quote
I'm trying to simplify things, Robert. If you want to generate a more comprehensive anti-smoking index, you're welcome to it.  ;)

Oh, no.  Simplicity is good.   :D
« Last Edit: January 26, 2003, 03:09:37 am by RobertH »
Logged

Kelton

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 604
  • el resplandor de las llamas de la libertad
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2003, 11:17:32 pm »

Quote from: Zxcv on January 17, 2003,  DadELK68  January 24, 2003, et al . . . .
 [. . . the motorcycle helmet issue is a good indicator . . .]

  There really is only one way to look at the helmet issue:

All our candidate states score highly on this personal liberty issue except Vermont. Period.

 Since New Hampshire has no law, that does seem best, however, since all of the other states' laws (except Vermont) essentially only apply to children, from the information presented here so far,  they are essentially as free as New Hampshire for adults. Sorry if I sound too 'politician' , but does anybody out there, except maybe 3 teenage dare-devils in a sand-lot, think that we should waste any worry over children having to wear helmets when on the road?  Maybe?  I would be interested in finding out the fines for minors for this violation in each state.  I also would like to know which states will be sending the CPS cops to your door to take your children away to foster-care for allowing your child to ride a motorcycle on the street without a helmet, this is something that I am sure not even the "live free or die" state scores excellent marks in, but I would like to know.

Seat belt laws, OTOH, that is interesting, here is a recent contribution on this matter:    


New Hampshire has no helmet or seat belt laws.

All of our candidate states exempt adults from helmet laws except Vermont.

source:
http://usff.com/hldl/frames/50state.html
___
All other states have some form of seat belt law.
Here is a ranking of the Maximum 1st fine offense if caught without a belt:
Idaho =  $5
Vermont = $10
Alaska = $15
Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota = $20
Wyoming $25 (driver)/ $10 passenger -- is reduced by $10 for good behavior.  ;)
Maine $50

None of our states require standard enforcement on the road for non- use.

Source:
http://www.iihs.org/safety_facts/state_laws/restrain3.htm
« Last Edit: January 26, 2003, 11:50:10 pm by exitus »
Logged
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2003, 12:13:40 am »

Exitus, you are right about helmet laws. I added this row to my big spreadsheet and gave Vermont 0, NH 10, and the rest 8. Maybe that should be 9, who knows?  :)

I also added seatbelt laws, giving 10 where no law and anything from 5 down to 1 depending on the fine, in the other states.

BTW I just thought of a good one - child care regulations. However I was unable to find any kind of state ranking based on the regulations and licensure, probably reflecting that that is hard to quantify. If anyone has any ideas let me know. This site points to the various state regulations, but nothing I can put in a spread sheet:
http://nrc.uchsc.edu/states.html
Logged

mtPete

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 98
  • I'm a llama!
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2003, 01:59:11 am »

Hunter training: Montana is apparently the only state that does not require hunter training.
Source: http://www.ihea.com/infodb/

You might want to look into that a little closer. To the best of my knowledge (as a resident hunter in MT who had to take a Hunter Safety Class) MT does require hunter training.
Logged

Kelton

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 604
  • el resplandor de las llamas de la libertad
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2003, 10:40:00 am »

Why don't we just simplify this problem.

There are 4 categories,

1) Smokefree air
2) Youth access
3) Tobacco prevention and control spending
4) Cigarette taxes

We and probably a lot of FSPers agree with ALA on #2. The prevention stuff, #3, is probably just the typical government rathole for tax dollars, more than any good litmus test or indication of nannyism. The taxes, #4, are probably just another way to loot the public pocketbook, again having little to do with nannyism (I think the money usually goes into the general fund - it does in my state, anyway).

That leaves #1, Smoke free air. This is surely the most egregious example of nannyism, based on junk science. The issue is not clouded by revenue generation or spending on bureaucrats; it is just plain old force. So I'm proposing we just use this measure.

I couldn't find the raw scores anywhere (except that DE and CA got perfect scores of 36!) so I have emailed them for these scores. If they don't give them to me, then I will just use the cruder letter scores in my big spreadsheet.
I Agree.  
Even though most FSP'ers probably agree that measures under the ALA's criteria for #2 go too far, they agree in principle that underage smoking is not desireable, so we toss out #2.

Since # 3 has to do somewhat with the terms of the settlement of the suit against "Big Tabacco" that all 10 of our states participated in, and how each handles the money, it is an irrelevant factor in comparison, and also since money is so fungible.

Since #4 is already a part of the total revenue item on the state comparison matrix, and to avoid redundant factoring, we throw it out, for now, though RoberH makes a good point that it is an important way that states attempt to regulate tobacco consumption. That leaves us with just #1, "smokefree air" .  

The factors that make up #1 as discussed in the ALA methodology, are making smoking a criminal act in: (1)government workplaces,(2)Private Workplaces,(3)schools, (4)childcare facilities, (5)Restaurants, (6)Retail Stores, (7) Recreational/Cultural Facilities, (8)penalties, (9) Enforcement.  
Each of these are assigned an equal value of 4 points.  Delaware received a perfect score of 36 by getting 4 points for all 9 criteria.  There was points assigned for meeting the basic criteria then bonus points added for additional degrees of regulation up to the total of 4 points.  Some points were subtracted if the law was weakened for exceptions or relaxed provisions.

In trying to re-create how the ALA assigned those scores, it is easy to use the state summaries found in the link off of each state's report card profile and see whether there was no regulation, regulation, or outright ban.  Trying to assign a scoring system of four points to determint the degree of compliance proves much more difficult without a strong background in interpretation of the law.  I took two business law classes at the university, and worked for a financial company assisting lawyers read cases on bankruptcy and various property laws and I still find myself unqualified to adequately compare the state laws.  As I said in my first post in this thread on the subject of smoking, I tried to rank the states independantly before discovering this report.  Some states, such as South Dakota essentially outlaw all smoking in public and then make so many exemptions that the law is unclear.  Other states, such as Idaho basically only attempt to regulate non-smoking areas, and leave much of the smoking areas to be determined by the proprietor, with a few exceptions such as buses and elevators.  How to interpret the law?  I suggest we just use a scoring of 0 points for no provision, 1 point for regulation, and two points for a ban, as in the state summaries on the ALA page.

     
Logged
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

Kelton

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 604
  • el resplandor de las llamas de la libertad
Smoking laws
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2003, 11:12:04 am »

Here is the break-down of how the states scored by assigning them one point for regulation, two points for outright ban; and one point for 'yes' 0 points for 'no' on enforcement and penalties while leaving out preemption as it only applies to South Dakota.  (as determined by the state summaries, found on the link from the state grade report on the ALA web-page ). This is without any concern for degree of regulation, just whether it was determined to regulate or ban (Since all of our states at least regulate smoking in government workplaces and most of us care less how government regulates government property than private property, I assigned a binary 0 point for regulation, 1 point for a ban):
WY=0   :)
ID = 7
MT = 8 +
ND = 9
AK = 9 +
NH = 10
ME = 12
SD = 12 ++
VT = 12
DE = perfect 15
 :(
______________
I added a '+' to MT and AK because the ALA recognized those two states for making "great strides in protecting people from secondhand smoke by passing strong local smokefree ordinances".  

++ALA also recognizes SD as a special case in that it has many strong local laws that are preempted by state law in the exemption of various places as already discussed previously.  ALA stated that "If preemption were repealed South Dakota's grade would be a "B"

If we give AK and MT an extra point for having "strong local ordinances" it would put North Dakota ahead and make AK and NH tie.

I would point out some of my notes, if they are readable on the first page of this thread for additional information not covered by ALA.  I would also like to bring up some trivial state-ranking info I came across related to smoking:
PERCENT OF MOTHERS WHO SMOKED DURING PREGNANCY BY STATE, 1999
 :( WY 21.5-->ND 19.2-->ME 18.3-->AK 18.0-->MT 17.5-->VT 16.5-->NH 15.2-->DE 12.8-->ID 12.7  :)

SD n/a
SOURCE: NATIONAL VITAL STATISTICS REPORT. SMOKING DURING PREGNANCY IN THE 1990S. VOL. 49(7); AUG. 2001. as reported in American Lung Association's report Trends in Tobacco Use, 2002.

CURRENT CIGARETTE SMOKING PREVALENCE (%) AMONG ADULTS AGED 18 AND OLDER
Most % of adults who smoke= AK 25.2 -->ME 23.8 -->WY 23.8 -->ND 23.2 -->DE 22.9 -->ID 22.3 -->SD 21.9 -->VT 21.5  -->MT 18.8 = least % of adults who smoke

Source: 45; MMWR VOL. 49 NO. 43 as reported in American Lung Association's report Trends in Tobacco Use, 2002

_________________________________________________
If we used the simple scoring criteria above, and score each state on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the best, and since we are seeking for a culture of liberty reflected in the laws, I suggest adding an arbitrary point to MT and AK on the scale of 0-15 for being recognized by the ALA for having strong local laws, as discussed above, and since local laws are in theory, even closer to the control of the people).  We would assign Wyoming a perfect 10 and Delaware a perfect 0.
In between these two extremes we would have
(ID=5.3)>(ND=4.0)=(MT=4.0)=(AK=3.3)=(NH=3.3)>(ME=2.0)=(SD=2.0)=(VT=2.0)

This corresponds beautifully with the ALA rankings on the first four states and the last three states using all the other criteria already thrown out, only NH,AK and SD come out differently, but still in the middle:
WY#50 in the nation, ID#28, ND#27, MT#25, SD#17, NH#13, AK#8,ME#5,VT#4,DE#2
_________________________________________________
« Last Edit: January 27, 2003, 01:09:31 pm by exitus »
Logged
. . .the foundations of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influenced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue --The U.S. Senate's reply to George Washington's first inaugural address

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Litmus tests for Liberty - state rankings, fireworks, guns, etc.
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2003, 12:11:42 pm »

Quote
You might want to look into that a little closer. To the best of my knowledge (as a resident hunter in MT who had to take a Hunter Safety Class) MT does require hunter training.

mtPete, if you can check this I'd appreciate it. The site I cited showed no training for MT. I went and looked through the MT dept of wildlife (or whatever it was called), and could find no evidence a class was required, although classes are offered. But I could have missed something. Maybe if you can call or email them to ask, or look through the state statues on this, it would be a help.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5   Go Up